The 2019 Irish Sailing Youth National Championships hosted by Royal Cork Yacht Club provided wild oscillations in weather conditions over the four days of planned racing. Thursday was certainly the calm before the arrival of Storm Hanna and three races for the 420 class were completed in light and fickle conditions. Friday dawned with raceable conditions in the morning but the oncoming storm would have provided little opportunity to get on the water and over to the race area and back again before the onset of the strong winds around lunchtime thereby forcing the cancellation of racing. Saturday looked as if it would provide perfect 420 sailing conditions in the strong breeze at the tail end of the storm but a long postponement eventually saw racing eventually cancelled late in the afternoon.
Sunday dawned with fog and no wind, but the fleet launched at 8:30 in the morning to head out to the race course and they were eventually rewarded with a modest breeze in bright sunshine. The Ferguson sisters from the National Yacht Club provided consistency over the two days of racing with five race wins to retain the title again this year after their win in Dun Laoghaire in 2018. In second place with two race wins were another female crew of Lucy Kane and Emma Gallagher followed by Morgan Lyttle and Patrick White in third position.
The Youth Nationals has traditionally been used by the 420s for team selections to travel to the European or World Championships each year. As Afloat.ie reported earlier here, Nicola and Fiona Ferguson will represent Ireland at the World Championships at Vilamoura in Portugal whilst the qualifiers for the 2019 Junior European Championships at Vilagarcia de Arousa on the North East coast of Spain are as follows:
- Lucy Kane (East Antrim Boat Club) and Emma Gallagher (Malahide Yacht Club)
- Morgan Lyttle Royal (St. George Yacht Club) and Patrick Whyte (Lough Ree Yacht Club)
- Ben Graf and Alexander Farrell (Lough Ree Yacht Club)
Royal Cork Yacht Club and their team of volunteers and race officials are to be congratulated on running a magnificent event under testing weather conditions.